The Cast Of “Top Gun” Then And Now

Tom Cruise just confirmed that the long-rumored sequel to Top Gun is in the works. He said he expects filming to begin next year and that it is “definitely happening.”

The Cold War thriller catapulted Cruise to the position of America’s leading man—a title he has still not relinquished. Although director Tony Scott made the original movie for just $15 million, we expect him to have a little more cash to play with for the sequel.


Aside from Cruise, there have been no other confirmed actors or actresses for the sequel. Since we can’t talk about who’s going to be in the new Top Gun, lets check in with the stars of the original.

Val Kilmer

Kilmer played Iceman. He was nominally the bad guy, mostly because he didn’t like the way Maverick endangered others by showing off. By the end of course, they made up and made a killer team.


Kilmer’s career has been a bit of a roller coaster, with some really nice heights. Madmartigan in Willow and Doc Holliday in Tombstone are still unforgettable characters even decades later. Then there were Heat and The Doors, which are both still considered classics, largely due to Kilmer’s performances.

As recently as May 2017, Kilmer expressed interest in a Top Gun sequel in a Reddit AMA. Although IMDB lists him as reprising the role of Iceman, the actor himself has not announced anything official on Instagram or elsewhere.

Anthony Edwards

The lovable Goose lost most of his hair in the decade that followed Top Gun. That could’ve sunk a lesser actor’s career, but Edwards simply found a new niche.


He became Dr. Mark Greene on the fantastically successful medical drama ER. After filming 180 episodes of the show, he dialed down his schedule and has appeared in fewer roles in recent years.

Tom Cruise

Cruise was already well known from his role in Risky Business when he starred in Top Gun. The action movie proved that he could play the role of tough guy and not just a good-looking kid. 


After Top Gun, Cruise proved his range by playing a pool hustler, a professional mixologist (before that was a word), and a disabled Vietnam veteran. He has continually won leading roles and ensured big box-office takes for his movies. 

Cruise has most recently been known for the Mission Impossible franchise, which started in 1996 and will continue with a sixth installment in 2018, as well as other action movies like Jack Reacher and the upcoming The Mummy.

Kelly McGillis

McGillis played Charlie, a flight instructor with a PhD in astrophysics. She was a strong female lead, and though she didn’t fly, her security clearance was way higher than Maverick’s.


This Juilliard-trained actress continued getting roles after Top Gun, but she never had a role quite as prominent. There is no word on her involvement in the sequel, but we’re hoping she at least paved the way for a female pilot or two to star in it.

“Top Gun 2” is clearly still in the early stages, but there are signs that it is going to be worth the wait.

For one, they’re shooting it while Cruise is still in his prime (we know, he’s 54, how is that even possible?!) Second, there are so many new developments in geopolitics since the original that there is no end to the possible plot lines.

There are rumors that the sequel will be about drone warfare. We’re going to take a wild guess that something will prevent the use of drones, and the Air Force will have to call up Iceman and Maverick to save the country. Whatever it ends up being about, this is one sequel we’ll be in the theater for.

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